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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Old Stagecoach Stop in Waynesville, MO

Front of the Old Stagecoach Stop
A lot can be learned from old historic buildings and the Old Stagecoach Stop is a prime example. From architectural style to owners and purposes, a building speaks for itself.

Next time you're driving I-44 through southern Missouri, take the time to visit. Located on the square in Waynesville, the building is the oldest remaining building in Pulaski County and has a long and varied history.

William Walton McDonald purchased the land in 1854 with the intent of building a hotel for the St. Louis to Springfield stagecoach route. Built in sections, the building became a double pen log structure.

Starting as a single pen - a one-room log cabin with a door in front and an exterior chimney on one side - the building then became a double pen structure when another pen was added next to it. Over the years, owners added a second story and an extension.

During the Civil War, Union troops built a fort on a hill above Waynesville and commandeered the stagecoach hotel for a hospital.

After the war, the railroad came to the Ozarks serving other towns nearby. Waynesville lost its importance as a stopover when the stagecoach disappeared. However, a string of owners kept the hotel open over the years.

Saved by the building of Route 66, the area once again became a travel stopover. The hotel remained open and at one point, part of the building housed a dentist office. Then in 1941 and the building of Ft. Leonard Wood, the hotel became home to construction workers and army personnel.

The hotel remained open until the 1960s. After twenty years of abandon, the city of Waynesville condemned the structure, but thanks to caring citizens, the building was purchased and restored.

Today it serves as a museum where Pulaski County volunteers treat it with loving care and will gladly share its story with anyone gifted with curiosity or a love of history.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Of butter and gems five years later

Five years ago, I posted an article following my thyroid cancer surgery   (http://www.iwritemyworld.com/2010/07/of-butter-and-gems.html). My brother, Jim, had prepared the most delicious no-iodine-diet meals in preparation for my radiation treatment.

This year, he's repeating history. I'm scheduled for ankle-fusion surgery on August 6. Afterwards, I will be unable to put weight on my foot for about three months while the leg and foot bones fuse.

My gem of a brother, Jim, is already preparing and freezing all kinds of delectable meals! I know there are easier ways to enjoy his marvelous cooking but I am so thankful he volunteers
when I need him.
An ankle fusion

If you're unfamiliar with ankle fusion, the doctor cleans out any remnants of the ankle and cartilage, then fuses the leg bone to the foot bone, securing it with screws. It takes about three months before the bone can bear weight, then up to a year for the fusion to become strong. It's a long haul, but the benefit is no more ankle pain from severe arthritis. It hasn't helped that I've been a klutz all my life and sprained my ankle numerous times.

Knee scooter, my new mode of transportation
I've spent the last several weeks trying to imagine an ankle that doesn't bend, but after next Thursday, I simply have to strengthen that bone. I'm convinced my imagination has made it worse than it will be. I'm eager to get back to my normal lifestyle.

In the meantime, my recovery will be filled with delicious dinners, courtesy of Jim. I am blessed with two brothers - neither of whom are quite as eccentric as me - and I think I'll keep them.

I'll also be in good hands with my physical therapy advice from my daughter-in-law, Michele. She recommended my doctor and has recommendations for post-surgery.

Come to think of it, I have many gems in my family!